Read full article by Issa Silva @ipsnews; PC: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

The desertification is causing job loss and decreased harvest and this is evident from Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours as they are simply passing thier time playing and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Harouna, a seasonal small-scale farmer worked for in northern Burkina Faso and two two other workers need to leave the because their services were no longer needed amid dwindling harvests.

Production had begun failing as desertification and drought took their toll on the land — which had become severely degraded, with half of the farmland soil turning to sand.

The economy in this Sahelian nation of 20.5 million people, located in the hinterland and within the confines of the Sahara, depends heavily on agriculture, forestry and livestock farming.

The sector is dominated by small-scale farms of less than five hectares and its main products are sorghum, millet and maize (the most produced in terms of volume), according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Cotton exports are still dominant and represent about 60 percent of total agricultural exports, according to the World Bank.